The race to play finals rugby league is heating up, and Round 15 brings us some intrigue on that front, but also a handful of games where we might be expecting cricket scores. Here to tell you which is which are The Roar’s NRL expert tipping panel.
After a week of almost down the line results last week, save for Cronulla getting the Panthers and the Dragons playing horrendously against the Bulldogs (let’s not talk about that, shall we?), there are plenty of games shaping up as more of that this week.
The Rabbitohs and Broncos, Storm and Tigers, and Eels against Bulldogs should all be one-way traffic. But there are games which could go either way.
The Cowboys hosting the Sharks is anything but an easy one for the home side, while the Panthers have lost two on the bounce and beating the Roosters is never a certainty anyway.
Newcastle will play the Warriors on Saturday, before things move to Wollongong for the Dragons and Raiders, who appear to be starting the world’s most annoying (depends which angle you look at it from) sporting hoodoo all over again.
The other game this week sees the inconsistent Titans host the Sea Eagles. Tom Trbojevic might be back, but working the Titans out is about as hard as it gets.
Just about everyone managed to tip six last week. The Crowd, The Barry, David and myself all slipped up on the Panthers and Dragons, while AJ missed the Cowboys and Dragons (although AJ tells me he was very tempted by the Bulldogs – sure you were AJ, sure you were!)
Mary only managed four last week though, missing the Cowboys, Panthers, Broncos and Dragons.
It means The Barry continues to lead The Crowd by a single point, with David another five back. He now has a four-point gap to Mary, while I’m two back from Mary.
As much as AJ wants to tell us he is on the charge, he is still a distant ten points behind me in fifth and 22 behind The Barry.
Remember to get your tips into the form below by 6pm (AEST) this evening to join The Roar’s NRL tipping competition for 2021 and be featured as part of the Crowd’s tips for Round 15.
The Barry, who continues to tip like some sort of robot, will lead us away.
Tips: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Panthers, Knights, Raiders, Storm, Eels, Sea Eagles
I’m walkin’ on sunshine, woah-oh-oh…
What a week that was. Sure, NSW putting 50 on the cane toads was exciting but what really sealed the week for me was the Bulldogs winning. Goes to show if you set your expectations low enough, even a win against a third-rate Dragons outfit can be satisfying.
A win by Souths over the Broncos will see the Bulldogs temporarily off the bottom of the ladder. Glory, glory!
Cowboys and Sharks is a tough one. The Sharks look like they’re starting to build some momentum but the bounce-back factor and home ground advantage will see the Cowboys get home in a close one.
It’s well known the Panthers and Roosters have been missing players for different reasons. The Panthers are coming off two straight losses while the Roosters have lost to the Broncos and just scraped past the Titans in recent weeks. The Panthers have their troops coming back and should be enough for a victory.
Speaking of troops returning, the Knights named Kalyn Ponga, Mitchell Pearce and David Klemmer. Knights to get the win and possibly a turning point for their season.
The Dragons put in one of the worst performances I’ve seen this season against the Dogs last week. This is pretty much a must-win for the Raiders and they’ll be too good.
Cameron Munster and the Melbourne Storm will be looking to put the boot into the Tigers and kick on to a big victory.
While I’ve been pretty stoked with the Dogs win against the Dragons, I suspect it’ll all come crashing back to reality at BankWest Stadium on Sunday.
Titans and Sea Eagles round out the weekend’s games. When you combine Manly’s rampant attack with the Titans patchy defence it’s got the potential to get ugly for the Titans.
Tips: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Roosters, Knights, Raiders, Storm, Eels, Titans
I continue my long-awaited ascendance! I will begin with Pryde and then methodically deal with you all one by one just like a masked executer in an 80s horror film. Get ready for your turn…
The Bunnies will whack Brisbane in Brisbane because of one word: Wayne.
Cowboys over Sharks to keep a spot in the eight with a -1000 for and against.
Roosters over Panthers because they need it more and Penrith will be well-rested but rusty.
It vexes me to pick a winner of Knights versus Warriors, two teams that suck and who I refuse to tip under any circumstances. I can’t go the draw, I wasn’t allowed to do N/A so I say Newcastle to win. Gross.
The Raiders will continue their epic run of form and continue to charge to the finals by decimating a pathetic St George side. By 56.
Storm over Tigers and Eels over Bulldogs by a mile. that’s all I have to say about that.
Finally, the Titans over Manly. The Titans really, really need this one and they might actually act like they’re interested.
Tips: Rabbitohs, Sharks, Panthers, Knights, Raiders, Storm, Eels, Sea Eagles
Only 11 weeks to go in the regular NRL season and, to put it mildly, we have to cut into The Barry’s lead now. He holds all the aces at this point and is driving the defensive racing line, so we are going to have to pick a number of upsets to win.
Of course, the flip side of this is you miss out on the favourites winning and go out backwards like AJ. But, no guts, no glory, and it all starts this week.
First up, we’ve got the Broncos and Rabbitohs and I’m not crazy enough to pick the upset here. Brisbane tend to post one good result amongst a pack of miserable ones and I think that Thursday night will be in the latter group. The Rabbits get a load of Origin players back and this will get ugly.
First up Friday night and I’m tipping my boys in a slight upset against the Cowboys. The Sharks have won three straight, or 2.5 if you are a disgruntled Panthers fan. They seem to be improving every week and, with the exception of Wade Graham, are almost back at full strength. I think they will do enough to beat a flimsy Cowboys defence.
We get the match of the round on Friday night with the Panthers and Roosters. The Panthers return to full strength and will be keen to get back on the winner’s list. The Roosters will be keen to play for Boyd Cordner but not as keen for Victor Radley.
If Trent Robinson has a “no d***heads culture”, Radley, as good as he is, must be under the pump. Panthers will be too strong.
It’s not a mirage, Knights fans. Ponga, Pierce, Klemmer and Hunt all return. Reece Walsh returns for the Warriors and that worries me. However, Newcastle are a much better team with Kalyn and Mitchell and they should get the win at home.
After a good run not too far into the season, the Dragons will fall out of the eight this week if they lose to the Raiders. This has a familiar ring to it.
The Raiders got the win last week but, let’s be honest, they beat the Broncos in sub arctic conditions. We got a look at why Matt Dufty is on the outer at the Dragons on Monday afternoon. Josh Hodgson will be looking at ways to exploit the Dufty defence one more time.
Last up on Saturday, we have the Storm and the Tigers. Mose Mbye comes back into the Tigers but Melbourne are simply too good. The premiership is a two horse race and, unlike the Gallen-Huni fight, there are no donkeys involved. Storm to win in a canter.
There’s been a lot of noise this week that the Bulldogs are back but I’m not convinced. They trounced the Dragons but their care factor was hovering around zero. The Eels have plenty to play for and they should have too much class.
To wind up the round, the Titans host the Sea Eagles. The Gold Coast have written the book of how to lose in crazy ways, and last week’s was one of their best yet. Tommy Turbo is back and the Sea Eagles remain one of the form teams at present. They will win.
Tips: Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Panthers, Warriors, Raiders, Storm, Eels, Sea Eagles
The Broncos are abysmal. There is no other way of describing the way they have defended in the last three weeks. They do have the odd solid performance in them, as they did against the Roosters not all that long ago, but how could you tip them?
It’s impossible. Rabbitohs.
North Queensland don’t like playing away from home, but by boy do they enjoy playing in Townsville. They have only lost a single game on home turf this year, and that isn’t about to become two.
I was tempted to go back and find the last time Penrith lost three straight, but quickly gave up when the pain of what felt like a thousand Dragons’ losses came flooding back by looking at scores. It’s been a horror show.
Anyway, the Panthers have Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai back. The pair have been phenomenal, providing more to Penrith’s attack than you could imagine. They will account for the Roosters.
The next one I’m expecting plenty of points. Toss a coin. Came up heads. Checks out too with Reece Walsh back. Kalyn Ponga is still under a cloud despite being named. Give me the Warriors.
Off goes the bias hat too. The Dragons were atrocious against the Bulldogs. That isn’t changing on a five-day turnaround against the Raiders who have not only turned the corner, but are in the process of kicking off a new 20-year hoodoo against the Dragons. Can’t wait to watch that over the next two decades.
Melbourne over the Tigers doesn’t even need a reason. Neither does Parramatta over the Bulldogs. Cricket scores the both of them.
The last one is tough, because you never know what Titans team will turn up. The bottom line though is that the Gold Coast have a woeful defence, and Manly have a ridiculously good attack once Tom Trbojevic is added back in. That’ll be all they need to get over the line.
Tips: Rabbitohs, Sharks, Panthers, Knights, Dragons, Storm, Eels, Manly
Might I begin by saying I never want to speak about my tipping efforts from last week ever again. Hopefully, I have a bit more success this week.
I’m tipping the Rabbitohs to have a big win over the Broncos. The Bunnies have been in exceptional form recently and with the attacking prowess of Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker and Alex Johnston, they are still a threat come September.
The Broncos struggled in the Canberra cold last week and will continue to struggle. Their halves pairing continues to be unsettled and I don’t see them with enough attacking options to beat an in form Bunnies side.
Despite the challenges of this season including injuries and a change of coach mid-season the Sharks seem to have found some sneaky form. They have a test ahead of them this week in North Queensland in Townsville, but Shaun Johnson continues to impress and I still remain baffled he doesn’t have a team for next year yet.
The Cowboys will be eager to bounce back after a disappointing loss to Manly, but I think the Sharks will win this one.
The Panthers will beat the injury-depleted Roosters, but I am expecting this game to be tight. No matter how many injuries this Roosters team has, they continue to turn up every week and remain in fifth spot on the ladder. The Panthers will be keen to bounce back after two losses in a row and are in prime position to do so with their State of Origin players back.
Both the Knights and Warriors have been inconsistent this year. I’ll tip the Knights who have both Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga returning. The Knights have struggled without both these players and I’m expecting a new look Knights team to get the win at home.
Another tough game to tip is the Dragons and the Raiders. The Raiders had a big win against the Broncos last week, but I’m still unconvinced. I am going to tip the Dragons who have home ground advantage and will possibly see Zac Lomax return.
The Storm will beat the Tigers and the Eels will beat the Bulldogs (and make it look a lot harder than it should be).
I’m also tipping Manly to beat the Titans. Manly proved last week that they can win even without Tom Trbojevic and will beat a Titans team that continues to be a team that can score plenty of points, but struggles in defence.
|Round 15||AJ||Mary||David||The Barry||Scott||Crowd|
|BRI v SOU||SOU||SOU||SOU||SOU||SOU||SOU|
|NQL v CRO||NQL||CRO||CRO||NQL||NQL||NQL|
|PEN v SYD||SYD||PEN||PEN||PEN||PEN||PEN|
|NEW v NZL||NEW||NEW||NEW||NEW||NZL||NEW|
|STI v CAN||CAN||STI||CAN||CAN||CAN||CAN|
|MEL v WST||MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL||MEL|
|PAR v CBY||PAR||PAR||PAR||PAR||PAR||PAR|
|GLD v MAN||GLD||MAN||MAN||MAN||MAN||MAN|
Remember to get your tips in on the form below by 6pm this evening to be counted as part of The Crowd for this weekend.